07:11PM | 03/10/01
Member Since: 04/17/00
10 lifetime posts
I'm replacing old grounded receptacles. According to the NEC, should the U-shaped hole for grounding, that is in the new receptacle, go on top, when I install it? I ask because the Black and Decker Home Wiring book that I bought at Home Depot doesn't say anything about it (published 1998), but an electrician told me once that now the grounding hole in a receptacle goes on top. He said that this would prevent problems if, for example, a plug was not in all the way and a curtain rod fell down and came in contact with the plug prong. If the ground prong was on top, it would not cause a problem. What is the proper way under the NEC?


05:43AM | 03/11/01
Member Since: 01/18/99
47 lifetime posts
I don't think that the NEC addresses this issue also. I have heard that either way is correct. Read on a newgroup awhile back, a year or so, that a person was getting a final electrical inspection and when the inspector saw that the grounding was on the bottom made him reverse all the receptacles so that the grounding was on the top. The inspector said that it was a safety issue. HTH


04:13AM | 03/12/01
Member Since: 03/13/00
1675 lifetime posts
In the building where I work the outlets are "sideways". The ground lug is to the left, not on top or bottom. I'm sure this building passed inspection, as it is pretty new. Most new installations I've seen have the ground lug "up", if it matters.


05:12AM | 03/14/01
Member Since: 04/17/00
10 lifetime posts
bink and rpxlpx: Thank you for the quick and helpful responses to my 3 questions. I appreciate the help.


05:53PM | 03/14/01
Member Since: 07/21/00
76 lifetime posts
The proper way is with the ground prong up. This however is not widely accepted because people are not use to seeing them this way. The local inspector always has the last say on what is proper. The code indicates this with the phrase "the authority having jurisdiction". Basically anything in the NEC can be changed to the wishes of the inspecting authority. If you have any doubts call the code enforcement authority in your area and ask them.

Joe Tedesco

03:48AM | 10/02/02
Member Since: 07/27/02
140 lifetime posts
More Opinions? Up or Down?


08:20AM | 10/02/02
Member Since: 08/31/02
11 lifetime posts
I agree with those that state there is no set way. To say one way is "proper" is misleading.
There has been many pages written about this issue. Most of the people in-the-know would agree that there is no set way.
Concerns include a metal faceplate comeing loose, and falling down into the hot plug blade. I would think that when the faceplate falls down, it can only fall one way or the other, so it will contact either the grounded(neutral) conductor, or the grounding conductor. Either will cause the breaker to trip. With the ground up, the faceplate will land on the grounding blade, and, if falling into the hot blade, will trip the breaker. If, however, it rotates the other way, into the neutral blade, then no breaker action will occur. Is this a good enough reason to specify one way over another? I don't think so.

So I like my outlets with the ground down, just because it looks like a face-----As good a reason as most others!!

Rick Miell

Electrical Inspector

01:04PM | 10/02/02
Member Since: 09/27/02
73 lifetime posts
Good Grief.
This is probably the most controversial triviality in the trade...a perennial Q wherever i surf!


04:27PM | 10/02/02
Member Since: 11/05/01
98 lifetime posts
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